What are cavities and how to treat them?
To be able to carry out any treatment of caries, we must know that cavities are caused by the destruction of dental tissues such as enamel or dentine and this causes the tooth to weaken and small holes are produced through which, with the passage of time, it ends up filling with food and remains in the mouth which, if not treated in time by a specialist, will end up causing damage to the pulp and inflammation (Pulpitis).
To find out how to treat caries, it is important to know that caries does not always cause pain in the tooth, which is why specialists recommend going at least 1 or 2 times a year to detect them in time so that they do not become a bigger problem in the future.
Causes of tooth decay
Tooth decay can be caused by a number of different factors, the most common and important of which are explained below.
Diet rich in sugars
Eating foods rich in sugar, especially when consumed on the fringes of meals, encourages the bacteria found in the mouth (cariogenic) to become active, producing acids to eliminate the remains of food, which is very harmful to the teeth and damaging. It is therefore advisable to brush your teeth after every meal.
Insufficient oral hygiene
From an early age we have been taught the importance of brushing our teeth and the frequency with which we should do it, but not everyone gives it the importance it really has and we end up completely neglecting the hygiene of our mouth. Not brushing our teeth frequently causes the accumulation of tartar between the teeth, thus damaging the tooth enamel and favouring caries activity.
It is a very common cause that is not usually given much importance but dry mouth is also harmful to our teeth as one of the main functions of saliva is to contribute to the elimination of bacteria, so a lack of saliva helps the development of micro-organisms and as they have less protection in the mouth, they are more harmful.
Not carrying out regular check-ups
This is the most common cause as people are not in the habit of having regular check-ups. This is also a very important cause, as not having your teeth checked regularly by a specialist means that dental problems that can affect the mouth are not treated early enough, becoming worse and turning into a bigger problem over time.
Below, we will explain the types of tooth decay to see what kind of treatment for tooth decay is ideal.
Types of tooth decay
Depending on the severity of the cavity or the area where it is located, it is called by different names and each of them has its own treatment. Below we are going to talk a little about the most common types of caries:
This type of decay is the most common among adults as it has been shown that they are more prone to develop receding gums.
The most common among children, these form between the teeth responsible for chewing. They are easy to identify because after losing the enamel, they have a different colour.
These are cavities that form between the teeth, affecting two teeth. These cavities can only be detected with the help of a professional as they are located in areas that are not very visible and require specific material and knowledge to be able to access them.
These cavities appear around fillings or crowns and caps that have been previously placed on the patient in order to remove old cavities. These cavities are produced because the remains of the old cavities have been left behind and this causes them to develop again with the accumulation of food and bacteria in the mouth. When deciding on the type of treatment to be used to solve the problem of caries, it is important to take into account 2 aspects. Firstly, the level of severity of the affected tooth and secondly, whether the tooth is permanent or temporary.
After discussing the different types of caries, we will explain the treatments for caries.
Treatments for caries
Now we will talk about the types of treatments that are used to eliminate caries. Here are some of the most common treatments for cavities:
This treatment is carried out when a cavity is just appearing and with this treatment we manage to restore the damaged enamel.
This is applied when a cavity is very developed in the tooth or if the tooth is very weakened, a custom-made covering is placed around the tooth, thus replacing the natural crown of the tooth.
When the cavities are already advanced, they are removed from the tooth and re-covered with a kind of paste that hardens, thus covering the gap to prevent food from accumulating again.
When a tooth has severe decay and cannot be restored, the last option is to extract the affected tooth and replace it with a dental implant or bridge.